With almost 25 years of automotive industry experience in a wide variety of roles in 4 countries, Maria Soklis is the President of Cox Automotive Canada & Brazil.
Since being named President of Cox Automotive Canada in 2015, Maria has successfully led the organization to become one of Cox Automotive’s leading international markets and has significantly grown the business through the development and execution of its national business strategy and operations. While the business began with only the Manheim operation, Maria has been guiding the integration of 12 more brands, including NextGear Capital, Dealertrack, Dealer.com, Kelley Blue Book, Ready Logistics and others to help support a connected automotive ecosystem building transparency, efficiency and digitization for customers looking to thrive during times of significant transformation in the industry. Maria has also recently overseen the introduction of the Dealertrack organization in Brazil and is now leading the team responsible for building the Cox Automotive brand in this market.
With a team of nearly 1,000 employees across the country, Maria leads by example and has fostered a culture of bold creativity, innovative problem-solving and ego-free teamwork. With a background in Social Development and Social Work, her passion for community service drove her to also lead the organization’s CSR program, Cox Cares, that includes initiatives like bringing like-minded partners and clients together for the first-ever Canadian Automotive Industry Build in support of Habitat for Humanity, and Cox Automotive Canada’s quarterly conference to encourage gender parity called Women With Drive. In 2020, Maria was also a driving force in the organization’s efforts to strengthen its inclusivity efforts and combat systemic racism through her support of the Black Employee Network and by being the Automotive Industry’s first leader to sign the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO pledge. Maria also contributes regularly to the industry and government’s efforts to build diversity in the Automotive world.
Recently, Maria was one of the recipients of the 2021 CEO Today Business Women of the Year Awards. She was named an “Executive of the Year” by the Canadian Lenders Association and an “All Star” in 2018 and 2020 by Automotive News. Maria’s personal achievements also include Outstanding Alumna and Honorary Senior Fellowship from the University of Waterloo and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for dedicated service to peers, community and Canada – but she is most proud of her team’s accomplishments. This was especially evident recently in what might be her proudest accomplishment with Cox Automotive Canada named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021. Maria lives the Cox Automotive core value to always do the right thing and encourages everyone around her to follow her lead every day.